Musings 105

Let us know for a certainty that free justification is the very head, heart, and soul of all Christian religion, and true worship of God; without the true and joyful knowledge thereof, our religion is headless, our profession and worship heartless, and our very zealous conversation is a mere corruption of the Gospel, and rottenness, like a body without a soul that stinketh before God. Briefly in a word, as the perfect righteousness of Christ is only worthy to be acknowledged for the wedding garment; because all the righteousness of our imperfect sanctification is {as the Prophet saith} as filthy, menstrous, stained rags – Isaiah 64:6; so true faith of free justification, being the having on of this wedding-garment, because it alone doth truly abolish all the filthy nakedness of our sins out of God’s sight, and it alone doth make us perfectly holy, and sufficiently righteous in the sight of God freely, without works. Therefore it alone doth make us fit brides, and is only meet to marry us to so glorious a Bridegroom, as is the King of glory – Christ Jesus. John Eaton {Honeycombe of Free Justification by Christ Alone – 1642, Taken from}

The Gospel is not something that just/only has to do with becoming a Christian; it has everything to do with the whole of being a Christian. Apart from the free justification of sinners in Christ, there is no true worship of God and there is no true godliness. The Gospel is vital to all areas of life and is indeed the good news of the glory of God to lost sinners, but it is also the good news of the glory of God to saved sinners. Those who become Christians are in great need of the good news of the glory of God at all times. If God has become our chief love, then we should want to hear the good news of His glory at all times.

The truth of the matter, though this is perhaps a bit of an overstatement, is that believers need the Gospel as bad if not worse than unbelievers. The point in this context is that believers need to know more and more of the Gospel and they need to know depths of the Gospel that unbelievers cannot understand and cannot know. In the modern day it seems as if we want to give people some simple message and then if they say a prayer or make a profession of faith then we want them to hear mostly of works. It seems as if the Gospel is viewed only in terms of saving sinners while maturing in the faith has to do with works and duty. This is a horrible error and glorifies works rather than the free-grace of God in saving sinners and then manifesting His life in them by the life of Christ.

Saved sinners never get beyond the infinite depths of Christ and His Gospel. Saved sinners need to hear more and more of their very life and that life is Christ. Saved sinners need to hear more and more of how it is that Christ works His live in them, and that is by free-grace alone. Saved sinners do not become more holy by doing more works, but by dying to self, growing deeper and deeper into knowledge of their own helplessness and sinfulness, and then having more and more of Christ and His free-grace.

What we must understand is that sinners need the Gospel. All men are sinners and saved people are sinners as well. As God works in His people and they have the light of Christ and the light of the Gospel in them, they will begin to see more and more of their sin. As Luther put it, a person that repents is a repenter and will always be repenting. That is quite true. God will not leave His chosen people in their sin undisturbed and bound by the misery of sin, but instead He loves them and will break the bondage of their sin by shining His light upon it and showing them the hatefulness and horror of it. When He does that, however, He binds their wounds with the Balm of Gilead and that is Christ. It is Christ and Christ crucified that saved sinners must hear more and more about as they grow in a deeper knowledge of their sin and of their own inability. Corresponding to that is their need to grow deeper and deeper in their knowledge of Christ and His perfect sufficiency for them and their sin.

It is a terribly shallow view of the Gospel that does not long for men to grow deeper and deeper in their views of Christ and His Gospel of free-grace. Our land languishes because churches have gotten into programs and external morality rather then deeper views of Christ and His Gospel. The churches languish because a watered-down gospel which is no Gospel is taught to unbelievers and then believers are taught systems based on works or perhaps intellectual knowledge. The Gospel is not that men must come to know about Christ, but they must come to know Christ Himself. The Gospel is the zenith of the glory of God in Christ and that is what men must come to taste and delight their souls in. We MUST have the Gospel preached in the churches in greater and then even greater depth. If not, some will die in their sins and others will be blown around by winds of error and they will die as babes.

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